'Return To Oz': An Accidental Live Blog Of A Very Disturbing Movie

return to oz

With the release of Oz the Great and Powerful this weekend, it was suggested by my editor that I re-watch The Wizard of Oz for the first time in quite a few years and write down my thoughts. Great, except that I do not own The Wizard of Oz. So, this morning I had to download The Wizard of Oz off of iTunes. Funny thing! After typing "Oz" into the search field, then scrolling down past six seasons of HBO's Oz, I wasn't 100 percent paying attention and, mistakenly, clicked on the 1985 quasi-sequel, Return to Oz, instead -- something I didn't fully realize until I started watching what turned out to be Return to Oz.

So, instead, here's my live diary of watching a kind of disturbing movie that I swear exists, Return to Oz.

11:55 a.m. Granted, I haven't seen this in awhile, but I don't remember this movie opening up in space.

11:55 a.m. Or in color.

11:56 a.m. The screen just flashed "Return to Oz." It's weird seeing the title card of a movie when it's not the movie that I thought I was watching. At first I wanted to blame anyone but myself, Typical iTunes. Then spite toward the assignment itself, Who cares about The Wizard of Oz, anyway? This is stupid. Then, finally, acceptance of, I hit the wrong button.

11:57 a.m. I just realized that I do not have time now to actually download The Wizard of Oz. I will be turning in a piece on Return to Oz whether they like it or not.

11:58 a.m. Oh, I see, Dorothy is staring into space because she misses Oz. Is Oz in space?

11:59 a.m. I just looked up the cast list for Return to Oz. Fairuza Balk is playing Dorothy. This is her first theatrical movie. Yeah, no pressure there.

11:59 a.m. Balk was 10 years old when she filmed this movie. Judy Garland was 17. This movie takes place after The Wizard of Oz.

12:01 p.m. So far, Return to Oz is surprisingly depressing. The Gale household has been destroyed and everyone seems to think Dorothy is crazy because she keeps talking about Oz.

12:02 p.m. OK, they actually took Dorothy to a psychiatrist. This is either the most depressing movie of all time or it's the greatest movie of all time.

12:03 p.m. You have to be kidding me, the psychiatrist just rolled out an electric shock machine. What is this movie?

12:05 p.m. The psychiatrist is trying to convince Dorothy that the electric shock machine is "nice" because it kind of but not really looks like "a face." What is this movie?

12:06 a.m. I can only imagine Dorothy was not aware of the electric shock therapy she would receive when she was talking about "no place like home" in the movie that I was supposed to be watching right now.

12:06 p.m. Seriously, is this a joke?

12:07 p.m. Dorothy has officially been institutionalized. I can see why the original film and Sam Raimi's new film decided to go with "whimsical tornado" over "dehumanizing 19th century psychological treatment."

12:09 p.m. I've lost all respect for Auntie Em for bringing Dorothy to this place. I mean, even if you don't buy her Oz story, she did just live through a tornado. At least give her some time to get over that before deciding on "electric shock therapy."

12:11 p.m. Dorothy has just been strapped to a gurney and wheeled to the electric shock machine. Honestly, this is the most disturbing movie of all time. I think I am starting to realize why this movie bombed.

12:15 p.m. Mercifully, an electrical storm killed the power before Dorothy's brain could be fried into oblivion. If the title card Sucker Punch flashes across my screen, I will not be too totally surprised.

12:18 p.m. Dorothy escapes the mental institution and jumps into a raging river.

12:22 p.m. I just audibly laughed out loud. Dorothy, who was with another girl, is now with a talking chicken. But it's not a lovable looking Oz-looking chicken -- it's just a normal chicken that happens to speak English with an occasional squawk thrown in, I guess to remind us that it's a chicken.

12:24 p.m. So, in The Wizard of Oz Dorothy was accompanied by a lovable dog. In Return to Oz, not only is this obviously Dorothy's electrical shock dreams, her companion is a chicken.

12:26 p.m. Dorothy has now told the chicken at least five times that she thinks that they are back in Oz.

12:26 p.m. I'm starting to think perhaps Dorothy did need electrical shock therapy.

12:28 p.m. So, we just met the villain in this movie, I presume, and it is a talking rock monster of some sort.

12:30 p.m. Dorothy is being attacked by a group of agile looking folk with wheels on their hands and their feet.

12:30 p.m. They call themselves "The Wheelers," naturally.

12:33 p.m. Dorothy has met a mechanical man, who, I think, also doubles as the logo on the Pringles can.

12:38 p.m. I want to meet the person who decided, "No, the dog worked too well in the first movie. Let's try a talking chicken that Dorothy has to carry around for the entire movie."

12:40 p.m. I wish James Franco were in this movie.

12:43 p.m. Dorothy has just met a witch named Mombi who has the ability to remove her head and replace it with an assortment of other heads. This seems much more impressive then "disintegrating when splashed with water."

12:45 p.m. Not surprisingly, Mombi turns out to be evil (never trust anyone who can remove her head) and imprisons Dorothy and her chicken in the attic. I can only imagine the intensity of the electrical charges coursing through Dorothy's head right now.

12:48 p.m. There is a character in this movie named "Jack Pumpkinhead." I dare you to somehow imagine what this character looks like.

12:48 p.m. Jack Pumpkinhead is perhaps the most frightening character that I've ever seen on a movie screen.

12:51 p.m. Dorothy, Jack Pumpkinhead and the chicken escape the attic by ... opening the door to the attic.

12:52 p.m. Jack Pumpkinhead just asked Dorothy if he could call her, "mom." Again, Fairuza Balk was 10 years old when she filmed this movie. I'm going to reiterate: Jack Pumpkinhead is perhaps the most frightening character that I've ever seen on a movie screen.

12:57 p.m. I am officially fascinated with Jack Pumpkinhead.

12:58 p.m. I can't even quite explain what I'm watching. I feel like I'm the one receiving electric shock therapy. The best I can explain: Dorothy, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Pringles logo and the chicken just escaped the witch on a flying moose of some sort. Only the moose has tree branches, I think, as wings? And his torso is some sort of... I give up.

1:00 p.m. Jack Pumpkinhead just said, "Good night, mom," to Dorothy. Why are you so creepy, Jack Pumpkinhead?

1:01 p.m. I miss Toto.

1:04 p.m. This movie isn't necessarily terrible, it's just so disturbing and weird.

1:06 p.m. All of the characters were all just presumably falling to their death, but all landed without harm. I can only assume that (A) gravity is not as strong on Oz and, because of this, (B) maybe Oz is in space.

1:08 p.m. Oh, good grief, Jack Pumpkinhead, please stop calling a 10-year-old girl, "mom." Stop it!

1:10 p.m. Dorothy is falling to her death, again -- this time inside of a mountain. She seems strangely calm.

1:13 p.m. I realize he's the villain in this movie, but the rock monster seems nice.

1:14 p.m. I just now realized that the moose's name is "Mr. Gump."

1:17 p.m. I want to meet the person who decided, "No, people liked The Scarecrow too much. In this one, we'll have a guy with a pumpkin for a head who will act like The Scarecrow, only a lot creepier."

1:20 p.m. The rock monster is holding the actual Scarecrow as his prisoner. The rock monster is making the characters play some sort of twisted game in exchange for Scarecrow's release.

1:21 p.m. The rock monster is wearing the ruby slippers. Ruby slippers are not a good look for rock monsters.

1:22 p.m. Seriously, what am I watching?

1:24 p.m. I honestly have no idea what's going on anymore.

1:26 p.m. Oh, I see, the rock monster wants be human. Well, that seems reasonable.

1:28 p.m. Dorothy has rescued the Scarecrow, who looks nothing like the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.

1:29 p.m. The Scarecrow and Jack Pumpkinhead are sharing a scene together. It's like seeing Bo and Luke Duke in the same frame as Coy and Vance Duke.

1:31 p.m. So, the greatest scene in cinematic history just occurred. The rock monster was about to eat Jack Pumpkinhead, but the chicken, who was hiding in Jack's head, pooped an egg into the rock monster's mouth. It turns out that eggs are poison to rock monsters.

1:38 p.m. The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion came back to life after the rock monster died. This version of the Cowardly Lion looks like a real lion and this version of Tin Man looks like it was drawn by Mort Walker.

1:38 p.m. Dorothy is explaining that she has to go back to Kansas. She neglected to mention the continuing electric shock therapy that she's in store for.

1:41 p.m. The talking chicken has decided to stay in Oz. Good riddance.

1:44 p.m. Back in Kansas, Dorothy is surprisingly forgiving of her family, considering they locked her away in a mental institution and all.

1:44 p.m. Dorothy learns the insane asylum was struck by lightning, caught on fire, and the doctor was never found. That's ... grim.

1:47 p.m. The movie ends with Dorothy seeing a vision of her missing chicken in the mirror. Dorothy, wisely, does not mention this to Auntie Em. If nothing else, Dorothy has learned her lessons about the correlation between "talking about Oz" and "being sent for shock treatment."

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.